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The Cars Issue

The Car Buff

Taking automobile fetishism to entirely new levels, Vince makes fat, glossy 3-dimensional paintings that look like either ghost parts of ghetto lowriders, or the sparkly pasties of a giant robot stripper.
December 1, 2001, 12:00am

Vince has a long history of intimacy with cars. His first job was in a body shop in Rhode Island, fixing up wrecks. Then he started going to sports-car races in 86, and he still makes the trip to Sebring, Florida almost every year for the big 12-hour race. His studio feels a lot more like a garage than an artist’s space - heavy machinery and pages ripped from auto magazines are spread around the workspace at the back end of his Brooklyn basement apartment.

Taking automobile fetishism to entirely new levels, Vince makes fat, glossy 3-dimensional paintings that look like either ghost parts of ghetto lowriders, or the sparkly pasties of a giant robot stripper.

“I’m attracted to obsessive and clean work, and the technical aspects of making things,” Vince says. The process he undertakes for his pieces confirms this. What starts as a small model or drawing goes through a labor-intensive process of digital models, molds, fiberglass, urethane, hand glazing, and days of electric buffing. The end result looks like a Porsche that’s been shot dead, then pinned and mounted by a taxidermist.

Vince flew to Salzburg this past June for a big group show at the classy Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, where his pal Niki promptly sold all the work. He then took off for the track, in this case a big Formula One race in Germany. “Formula One racing isn’t like that NASCAR shit – these are real cars,” he said. “The grandstand tickets in Germany are like three hundred dollars, and you sit in your fucking seat the whole time. Infield tickets, where you get to see the cars and the drivers and their girlfriends right up close, are fifteen hundred bucks. The race itself was great, but otherwise it kind of sucked. I basically lived on hotel-bar peanuts and big cans of Fosters for two days. Then I came home.”